All Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 have been banned from leaving the country in response to Russia's ongoing invasion.
Powerful images of fear, heartbreak, and resilience have been emerging from Ukraine ever since early Thursday morning when President Vladimir Putin ordered "a special military operation" on the neighboring nation.
While many hunkered down in metro stations and air-raid shelters to take cover from aerial attacks, several thousand Ukrainians fled—and continue to flee—the country on available modes of transportation or on foot. A video of this mass displacement of civilians is now going viral on social media, featuring a heartbroken father saying an emotional goodbye to his daughter as he sends her off to a safe zone, while he himself stays behind to fight.
The video—which has been liked and shared by thousands—shows the father bidding a tearful farewell and embracing his daughter and wife before seeing them off as they leave in a vehicle to get the young girl and her mother out of the country. Both father and daughter are seen sobbing uncontrollably as they bid farewell for at least the foreseeable future. All Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 have been banned from leaving the country in response to Russia's ongoing invasion. According to CNN, in a declaration signed late Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that "in order to ensure the defense of the state, maintaining combat and mobilization readiness of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations," a general military mobilization was ordered in the capital Kyiv and all Ukraine's major cities.
The mobilization instructed "the Security Service of Ukraine to take counterintelligence measures during the general mobilization" and ordered the "conscription of conscripts, reservists for military service, their delivery to military units and institutions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine" and other state security services. At the same time, Ukraine's state border guard service (DPSA) said in a statement that following the introduction of martial law in the country, all male citizens 18-60 years old are now banned from leaving the country.
The decree signed by President Zelenskyy is to be carried out within 90 days.— DW News (@dwnews) February 24, 2022
Ukraine's border guard said earlier that males aged 18-60 were no longer allowed to leave the country.https://t.co/GM9eEZoldQ
"The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reports that due to the imposition of martial law in Ukraine, a certain category of citizens is temporarily restricted from leaving Ukraine," the country's interior ministry announced on Telegram just before midnight on Thursday, reports VICE. "In particular, male citizens of Ukraine aged 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving Ukraine. Such a rule will apply for the period of martial law. We ask citizens to take this information into account." President Zelensky has also encouraged Ukrainian citizens willing to fight to come forward and promised weapons for anyone who wants them. Meanwhile, the country's defense minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, has called on anyone with a Ukrainian passport to enlist in the army. "The enemy is attacking, but our army is indestructible," Reznikov said. "Ukraine is moving into all-out defense mode."
"We're staying home. We don’t want to leave," said 24-year-old Andrew who did not disclose his full name for security reasons. "I can't leave now because the last update (was that) guys from 18 to 68... cannot leave borders of Ukraine. We will stay here till Russians go home because it's important to us to stay in our homes. We will stay with our government."
Cover Image Source: Twitter/Marios Komnos